UPDATE: Seattle Impact owner Dion Earl has, apparently, changed his mind and won't be ceasing operations, after all.
A report from the Dallas Morning News claims that the Major Arena Soccer League's Seattle Impact will "cease operations", citing sources within the Impact organization. This comes after months of bad press concerning Dion Earl, the team's owner, coach, and "star player".
On November 6th, a lawsuit was filed against Earl, making claims ranging from inappropriate sexual comments to sexual assault. This led to reporters looking into his past, which turned up a 1998 letter to him from the Bellevue School District, asking him to resign after he allegedly "pursued a relationship" with a 17 year-old student while serving as a coach at the same school. The fact that "a quick Google search" uncovered this letter, the MASL came under fire for not properly vetting the owner of the Seattle franchise.
Soon after the lawsuit was filed and Earl and the organization faced media scrutiny, 22 of the team's players walked out on November 21st. A few of those players, including Derek Johnson and Jameal Cox, are currently players for the Tacoma Stars in the Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL), where Johnson is currently the league's leading scorer.
After the events of November, attendance dropped dramatically at Impact home games. Even though the club announced attendance well over 300, this is what the arena actually looked like:
Seattle Impact announced this 'crowd' at 365 last night at the Showare. pic.twitter.com/LRCGC7oRns— goalWA.net (@seattlesoccer) December 19, 2014
This is what 300+ looks like at a Tacoma Stars home game:
RP from @TacomaStarsSC at last night's game #TacomaStars pic.twitter.com/QMLwEFc5U6— Alex Mowre (@AlexMowre) December 21, 2014
It will be interesting to see if the MASL attempts to replace the Impact next season, if there is a next season.